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Visit us at alex-kingston.com for latest news, photos, videos, and more on Alex.


Who is Alex?
Alexandra Elizabeth "Alex" Kingston is an English actress. She is most widely known for her roles as Dr. Elizabeth Corday on the NBC medical drama ER and as River Song in Doctor Who.


Current Projects

Macbeth in NYC (summer 2014)
Chasing Shadows (Sept. 2014, ITV)
Bukowski (2014)
Happily Ever After (2015)


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New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/alex-kingstons-charlie-rose-interview-18th-june/

Alex Kingston’s Charlie Rose Interview - 18th June

Alex was on Charlie Rose’s talk show last week to talk all things Macbeth and Shakespeare.

If you missed the interview you can watch an edited version with just her part down below now:

They also showed the US Macbeth trailer:

Enjoy!

Big thanks to Kathryn Morris UK for your help!

posted 1 month ago with 15 notes

New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/video-update-itvs-first-chasing-shadows-trailer/

Video Update: ITV’s first ‘Chasing Shadows’ Trailer

The first official ‘Chasing Shadows‘ trailer is here! Watch it below:

Chasing Shadows is a thrilling, new four-part drama, which focuses on the work of a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people.

Reece Shearsmith will play DS Sean Stone and his partner, Ruth Hattersley is played by Alex Kingston, whilst Noel Clarke takes on the role of DI Prior.

posted 1 month ago with 2 notes

Chasing Shadows is a thrilling, new four-part drama, which focuses on the work of a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people.

Reece Shearsmith will play DS Sean Stone and his partner, Ruth Hattersley is played by Alex Kingston, whilst Noel Clarke takes on the role of DI Prior.

posted 1 month ago with 46 notes

New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/gallery-update-alex-kingston-at-macbeth-opening-night-in-nyc-5th-june/

Gallery Update: Alex Kingston at “Macbeth” Opening Night in NYC - 5th June

I’ve added 32 HQ photos of Alex attending the “Macbeth” Opening Night last week. She looks absolutely stunning!
Here’s a preview:


Gallery Link:
Public Appearances > 2014 > June 5: Macbeth Opening Night – NYC

posted 1 month ago with 10 notes

New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/time-traveling-with-lady-macbeth-dr-who-star-on-witches-sex-appeal-and-co-starring-with-kenneth-branagh/

Time Traveling with Lady Macbeth: “Dr. Who” Star on Witches, Sex Appeal and Co-Starring with Kenneth Branagh

Alex Kingston, who is starring as Lady Macbeth alongside Kenneth Branagh at the Park Avenue Armory, talks with Playbill.com about making her New York stage debut in Shakespeare’s Scottish Play.

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Alex Kingston is going big or going home. Performing in the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, playing the complex role of Lady Macbeth alongside the British Shakespeare star Kenneth Branagh as the Thane of Cawdor in an immersive production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Kingston is making an ambitious New York stage debut.

Known to TV fans as Elizabeth Corday on the NBC drama “ER,” and more recently as River Song on the BBC science fiction show “Dr. Who,” Kingston returns to the ambitious, athletic production that features lengthy sword fights as well as actual fire, rain and mud, following its 2013 production in the Manchester International Festival.

Kingston, whose work includes One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as well as the films “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders” and the the mini-series “Lost in Austen,” talked with Playbill.com about finding the humanity within her character, what Lady Macbeth would do if she could time travel and more.

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You starred as Lady Macbeth in the original production in Manchester. What has your experience been returning to the play a year later?
Alex Kingston: It’s the same production, but it’s also totally different from last year. It’s exciting because as much as it feels like we’re putting on sort of a nice familiar piece of clothing, at the same time, it’s like, “Oh my goodness — it’s a completely different fit.” It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Macbeth was staged in a deconsecrated Romanesque church as part of the Manchester International Festival. The Park Avenue Armory is 55,000 square feet — a slightly bigger performance venue.
AK:
It’s interesting because it feels like less of a piece of theatre or theatrical performance in a way. There are associations with doing a play, which are being in a theatre. And this [is] sort of arena… I’m still kind of finding my way in terms of how to compensate and deal with that, actually. Certainly the original performance, even though we were in a church, it was an incredibly intimate space. We had a very limited audience capacity, so it definitely was a completely different production in that respect. So our job is to, within our performance space, still try and retain that intimacy and retain that very immediate connection that the audience had with the play and with the characters.

The play brings the elements of nature into the Armory — dirt, rain and fire. It’s also very violent; the audience gets to see the battles rather than hear the characters discuss them.
AK:
When we were teching, it was the first time that I saw the very spectacular opening scene. I had never seen it. I’m onstage, but my back is turned. I could hear everything that was going on. I was so longing to turn around, but I couldn’t. Yesterday for the first time in tech, I decided I was actually going to turn around and watch them. It was fantastic. I feel like I’ve now at least got to experience what the audience is going to experience.

Lady Macbeth is such a fascinating woman who can be performed in so many different ways. How did you go about developing the character?
AK:
All I will say is that I’d never played this role before. I studied it at school. So when Ken wanted to meet me to talk about the role — I guess deciding or trying to form his company — I just sort of thought, I have to be honest with him as to how I see the character. I’ve always felt that my sense of her, my particular interpretation of her, is a little different to interpretations that I’ve seen in the past or the immediate association that a person in the public might have with the name Lady Macbeth. And so I thought, I’ll be honest with him and if it’s not how he sees the role, then that’s all well and good. This isn’t the production for me.

The great thing was that he and I seem to be very much on the same page when it came down to who these two characters are and what their relationship is. It was great. It was incredibly instinctive, and we sort of set off on the right path from the very beginning. Essentially, I don’t see either of them as bad people at the beginning of the play. I think they’re people who, if they had chosen a different path, they would have been a really great couple, a great king and queen potentially at the beginning of the play. He’s certainly described at the beginning of the play as a wonderful soldier, an honest soldier, hard working… It’s just they’re presented with this choice. And they make the wrong choice, and that leads them ultimately down the path of destruction and tragedy. But people, schoolchildren, if they study Macbeth, they come away thinking, “Ooh, they’re the epitome of evil,” and I just don’t see these characters in that way. And I’m hoping that by the end of the performance the audience will also maybe revisit their feelings about these characters.

You’re co-starring with one of the great Shakespearean actors of our time. How did you and Kenneth Branagh develop the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?
AK:
I don’t quite know how to describe how we developed it; it just sort of happened. They’re very loving. They care for each other and love each other deeply and would do anything for each other — and do, ultimately… She and her husband have a very physical, passionate relationship. And certainly I think the beginning of the play we want people to know that. They really are connected, they love each other, they are attracted to each other… She’s an equal partner in the relationship. Even though our production is a traditional production in its setting, their relationship is one of equality. And they value each other’s opinions and take care of one another.

I think that’s her tragedy — when she starts to become shut out by him, that’s when I think one slowly sort of sees her demise because they need each other. She needs him desperately. And he realizes in the end, when she’s gone, what’s left in his life? I think it’s a kind of very tragic love story in a way.

It’s fascinating to watch the way Lady Macbeth’s choices affect her and how she changes as the play goes on.
AK:
I feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for what happens to her and what happens to him ultimately. It’s very human. If one could apply the equivalent and say, “If somebody approached you and said, ‘I’m going to give you the winning numbers to tomorrow’s lottery and you’re going to get $150 million, but in order to do that you have to do this one little thing for me’” — it could be something as simple as don’t turn the gas oven off — something that is going to be hugely destructive to a person.

Of course, I wouldn’t do anything like that because I’m not that person. But at the same time, one can be tempted… if you’re given the chance to have something that you’ve always desired, and Macbeth desires that crown, that power. They’re a childless couple; they’ve lost a child. They know that they’re no longer of the age when they can have children. So they have no legacy. What better way to have a legacy than try to be king and queen? But it’s not as easy as they think it’s going to be.

There have been so many productions of Macbeth recently, both in America and in England. What is it about this play that speaks to so many people?
AK:
I think what’s so amazing about Shakespeare, and people say it all the time — the human element in his plays, human relationships — absolutely apply today as they did back then. We have not moved on in terms of no matter how sophisticated we think we might be as a society now; we are no different in terms of our fundamental feelings and actions as society was way back then.

But also one has to sort of remember this was at a time [when] King James was in power in England and he burnt and executed more women as witches than any other monarch in England. And so it was a time when people really believed in witchcraft and were paranoid, and that sort of was part of the fabric of everybody’s lives: that intense belief in spirits and the power of good and evil and somebody hexing you.

In a funny sort of way it’s not too dissimilar to the paranoia of terrorism we have now. There were innocent, innocent people who just because they looked a little strange or decided they wanted to live solitary lives, were thought of as being witches and were taken away and burnt. I think that when she reads the letter and these three weird sisters who absolutely are witches are promising that this is what’s going to happen — then, my God, you’re going to believe it. Because why wouldn’t you? That’s your world. They have no choice in a funny sort of way, because of the belief system of that time. There are very strong elements and it’s one that one has to sort of remember, and it applies to that particular time when he wrote the play.

Time travel is a huge part of “Dr. Who.” If Lady Macbeth could time travel, what would she do differently?
AK:
She’d go back. She’d go back and she would stop her husband from doing what he does. I think if she had the opportunity, by the end, after the banquet scene — that’s the last moment that they are together — she would start over and just want to have the life they had before.

Source: playbill.com

posted 1 month ago with 8 notes


Alex Kingston & friends - 6/5/2014 - MACBETH Opening Night held at Park Avenue Armory, NYC

Alex Kingston & friends - 6/5/2014 - MACBETH Opening Night held at Park Avenue Armory, NYC

posted 1 month ago with 215 notes


Alex Kingston, Reece Shearsmith & Noel Clarke soon in Chasing Shadows on ITV

Alex Kingston, Reece Shearsmith & Noel Clarke soon in Chasing Shadows on ITV

posted 1 month ago with 85 notes

New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/macbeth-theatre-review-kenneth-branagh-alex-kingston-in-vigorous-staging-of-the-scottish-play/

Macbeth Theatre Review: Kenneth Branagh & Alex Kingston in vigorous staging of the Scottish Play

Kenneth Branagh stars as the murderous thane, with Alex Kingston as his ruthless consort, in this vigorous staging of the Scottish Play, directed by Branagh and Rob Ashford.

NEW YORK – Kenneth Branagh first made his mark as a screen director with his pared-down yet robust 1989 version of Henry V. His film output since then has ranged with varying success from personal projects like Peter’s Friends through further Shakespeare adaptations to giant popcorn odysseys like Thor. This sensational environmental stage production of Macbeth, which Branagh stars in and co-directed with Rob Ashford, is in many ways a logical culmination of that eclectic experience – a medieval, mystical blockbuster that combines superlative, fuss-free classical theater acting with muscular storytelling, visceral physicality and propulsive rollercoaster pacing. Oh, and lots of mud.

The production was jointly commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory and Manchester International Festival, premiering last July in the intimate confines of a deconsecrated church in that Northern English city. Reconfiguring their site-specific staging for the Armory’s massive, 55,000-square foot Drill Hall, the directors and a brilliant design team led by Christopher Oram have created a traverse stage flanked on two sides by steeply raked spectator stands. A Middle Ages jousting tournament would look right at home here. But the immersive aspect kicks in even before we get there.

Upon arrival, the audience is divided into clans and split off into various rooms showcasing military history. A glass or two of wine is served before druids in hooded cloaks carrying flame torches usher us along a path through the eerie haze of a vast, dirt-floored moor. At one end of the actual playing space, Oram has sculpted imposing Stonehenge-like monoliths, while at the other, Lady Macbeth (Alex Kingston) stands with her back to the incoming crowd, silently invoking the spirits at an altar of votive candles and weathered frescos.

The opening battle – during which Branagh’s Macbeth and his men successfully crush an attempted rebellion against Duncan, King of Scotland (John Shrapnel) – takes place in a downpour that turns the field to mud. Making remarkable use of the sprawling performance area and the audience’s proximity to the actors, the violence of the sword- and dagger-play gets the drama off to a thrilling start – so much so that the front-row patrons probably don’t even mind getting a large mouthful of rain spat in their faces by the victorious Macbeth.

It seems inconceivable that despite a distinguished theater career that began in his native Northern Ireland and has continued uninterrupted in the U.K. for three decades, Branagh is only now making his New York stage-acting debut. Not only is Macbeth an ideal role for him, with his ginger head, ruddy handsomeness and steely gravitas, but at 53, he’s also the perfect age to embody a warrior hero making a furious grab for power before his time is up. Branagh’s Macbeth is not a man given to thoughtful reflection but to instinct, action, and increasingly, to fear and involuntary glimmers of conscience, making him a surprisingly human tyrant.
In an intermissionless production that rarely pauses for breath during its two-hour duration, the usurper’s jockeying for throne and title has been stripped of politics and reason, and de-intellectualized into something closer to raw pagan lust. There’s no doubt that this Macbeth is in carnal and emotional thrall to his manipulative wife – he can’t keep his hands off her when he returns from the battlefield. But there’s also something almost primal driving his characterization from within, an innate force of darkness fed by the cryptic prophesies of the Weird Sisters.

Played by Charlie Cameron, Laura Elsworthy and Anjana Vasan, the witches are an uncommonly nubile trio here, darting around like snickering J-horror waifs, with their eyes glowing and their bodies writhing in orgiastic pleasure through each new bout of bloodshed. Their “Double, double toil and trouble” incantation is delivered in a state of convulsive possession, as they conjure a churning human soup out of flames.

Fluidity and urgency are the production’s keynotes, frequently amplified by the pounding of composer Patrick Doyle’s war drums. Testosterone runs high throughout, even extending to Kingston’s driven Lady Macbeth. Playing against the soft womanliness of her physical appearance, the former Royal Shakespeare Company member draws a circle around herself in the earth in her “Unsex me” soliloquy. With that gesture she liberates her capacity for male cruelty to a degree that both beguiles and frightens her husband, while also triggering her gradual descent into insanity. From the moment she persuades Macbeth to seize his chance and kill the King while he’s sleeping under their roof, the couple’s fate is sealed, even as they shrink from it in terror or madness.

Theatergoers who insist on poetic oratory and subtle textual exploration might be resistant to Branagh and Ashford’s bold directorial approach. But this is a riveting staging, unblinking in its lucidity as it exposes the ugly essence of power and brutality with a starkness that makes it impossible to look away. Just the use of the long corridor-like performance space alone is mesmerizing, often requiring the quick attention shifts of a tennis match.

The large ensemble contains no weak links. In addition to the exciting central performances of Branagh and Kingston, Richard Coyle’s ruggedly masculine Macduff is notable, and his shattered discovery of the murder of his wife (Scarlett Strallen) and son (Dylan Clark Marshall) is among the play’s most wrenching moments. Jimmy Yuill is a warmly avuncular, almost Falstaffian Banquo, which makes his apparitions as a bloody ghost all the more startling. Shrapnel brings effortless authority to the doomed King, and Alexander Vlahos as his orphaned son effectively shakes off any trace of callow youth as he finds his noble calling.

Stunning stage pictures punctuate the production, bathed in the piercing shafts of Neil Austin’s sepulchral lighting. Among them is the disturbing image of the witches, who at one point appear to levitate between Oram’s stone pillars (pictured below). The funeral procession for the slain King is an affecting moment of pageantry amid the barbarism. Similarly beautiful in its choreographed formality is the advance of Birnam Wood to Dunsinane Hill, with soldiers hidden behind shields made of tree branches. And Macbeth’s vision of a dagger before him brings a flourish of dark magic that echoes the play’s supernatural elements.

The production’s most resonant effect, however, is illustrated in a lament spoken with stirring depths of feeling by the nobleman Ross (Norman Bowman), for a country that “cannot be called our mother, but our grave.” Even after tyranny is vanquished and peace and justice restored, the sorrow of death hangs like a thick mist in the air.

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Alex Kingston, Richard Coyle, Scarlett Strallen, John Shrapnel, Alexander Vlahos, Elliot Balchin, Jimmy Yuill, Patrick Neil Doyle, Edward Harrison, Norman Bowman, Andy Apollo, Dominic Thorburn, Nari Blair-Mangat, David Annen, Harry Lister Smith, Charlie Cameron, Laura Elsworthy, Anjana Vasan, Dylan Clark Marshall, Katie West, Benny Young, Tom Godwin, Stuart Neal, Jordan Dean, Cody Green, Zachary Spicer, Kate Tydman
Directors: Rob Ashford, Kenneth Branagh
Playwright: William Shakespeare
Set & costume designer: Christopher Oram
Lighting designer: Neil Austin
Music: Patrick Doyle
Sound designer: Christopher Shutt
Fight director: Terry King
Illusion consultant: Paul Kieve

Presented by Park Avenue Armory, Manchester International Festival, in association with Colin Callender

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

posted 1 month ago with 9 notes

New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/kenneth-branagh-and-alex-kingston-in-epic-new-macbeth/

Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston in epic new ‘Macbeth’

NEW YORK–Forget the pesky glasses. You want a movielike experience in 3-D? Feast your eyes on Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s breathtakingly visual new staging of “Macbeth.”

The sensory immersion begins the instant the doors of the Park Avenue Armory swing open and you enter a 55,000-square foot drill hall that has been transformed into a Scottish plain. Along a winding path you pass a series of hooded figures as you approach a towering set of rocklike monoliths that resembles Stonehenge. In the distance, dozens of candles illuminate the apse of an ancient Celtic church, where a veiled woman kneels in prayer, while you find your place on one of the pair of 550-seat grandstands that flank a narrow, dirt-filled stage.

Then the rains come. A vicious hand-to-hand battle breaks out. Soldiers fall to the muddy earth.

It’s Shakespeare’s blood-soaked tale of regicide, for sure. But it also could have been called “Game of Thanes.”

Branagh co-stars with Alex Kingston in this epic and generally well-acted production, which opened Thursday night after first being staged (on a much smaller scale) at the Manchester International Festival last summer. Together, Branagh and Kingston make of the Macbeths a notably impulsive couple rushing headlong into calamity. If “Othello’s” Iago is two steps ahead of the other characters in his understanding of consequences, this foolhardy Macbeth and Lady Macbeth seem two steps behind. No wonder things go south for them so quickly. And this in spite of the prophesies imparted to Macbeth by the three witches, first spied here as phantoms floating eerily among the Stonehenge slabs.

Ashford and co-director Branagh, working with inspired set and costume designer Christopher Oram, understand a contemporary audience’s appetite for spectacle. And as his direction of films of Shakespeare reveals–in particular, his 1989 “Henry V,” by far his best–Branagh is adept at underlining the exhilarating physicality of the plays. He and Ashford do so here, in scenes that aspire to the visceral thrills of film.

The vastness of the space imbues the sword-wielding battles and stately pageants with impressive sweep. In a concession, too, to our bystanders’ curiosity, the directors add to Macbeth’s report of his murder of King Duncan (John Shrapnel), a visit to the crime scene. Lady Macbeth not only takes the bloody daggers from shellshocked Macbeth’s hands, she also leads us back with her into Duncan’s chamber, where we watch her steep her hands in the king’s blood.

When she departs with the declaration to her husband, “My hands are of your color,” their toxic alliance is sealed all the more indelibly. (And since we’re more fully apprised of what she has seen, we better understand why she complains that those “damned spots” won’t come out.)

Conversely, though, the space works against some of the tragedy’s more poignant moments, such as the one in which Macduff (Richard Coyle) is informed of the brutal murders by Macbeth’s men of his wife and children. It’s difficult to commune with Macduff’s muted grief when he’s hundreds of feet away and turned toward a far-off section of the grandstand.

The performances across the board are better than respectable, if not entirely magnetic. Branagh’s admirably restrained Macbeth comes across as an able soldier with grave doubts about the unholy acts his wife urges him on to. Kingston is persuasive, too, as a woman who acts before she thinks, and then rapidly falls apart after she catches the contagion of contrition. They’re the pivotal pieces of a striking, picture-perfect “Macbeth” in which action really does speak louder than words.

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford. Set and costumes, Christopher Oram; music, Patrick Doyle; lighting, Neil Austin; sound, Christopher Shutt; fight direction, Terry King; illusions, Paul Kieve. With Anjana Vasan, Charlie Cameron, Laura Elsworthy, Alexander Vlahos, Elliot Balchin, Patrick Neil Doyle, Tom Godwin, Scarlett Strallen. Through June 22 at Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave., New York. Call 212-933-5812 or visit www.armoryonpark.org.

Source: washingtonpost.com

posted 1 month ago with 9 notes

New Blog Post at Alex-Kingston.com • The Kingston Cross • Your number one source for actress Alex Kingston

New Post has been published on http://alex-kingston.com/macbeths-alex-kingston-interview-there-might-be-a-bit-of-mud-and-blood/

Macbeth’s Alex Kingston interview: ‘There might be a bit of mud and blood’

Mrs. Doctor Who talks about morality, living in Los Angeles and playing opposite Kenneth Branagh in a bold new version of Macbeth

Behind every great Macbeth, there’s usually a pretty darn impressive Lady M. As Kenneth Branagh makes his long-overdue New York stage-acting debut in the Scottish play, his partner-in-slaughter is accomplished British actor Alex Kingston. Best known on these shores for roles on ER and Doctor Who, she’s also an alum of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Trimmed to about two hours, Macbeth premiered last year at the Manchester International Festival, but in May, directors Branagh and Rob Ashford had the company rehearsing at London’s Alexandra Palace, as they worked in new cast members and prepared the production for the vast Park Avenue Armory space. At the end of the day, Kingston, 51,another New York theater newbie, looked fresh and fit in a sleeveless black top as she talked via Skype about playing half of a terrifying power couple in a new, spectacular Macbeth.

How did you land Lady Macbeth?
I’d thought about the role over the years, and had a very strong sense of who I felt she was and how they are as a couple. When I met with Ken, I thought, I’m going to put it out there. He’s either going to agree with that take or he’s not. If he doesn’t, then this isn’t the production for me. I was incredibly fortunate to discover Ken had very strong feelings that were absolutely along the same lines.

What were they?
I can’t tell you. That’s for the audience to discover.

Can you give me a teaser?
[Laughs] I think they’re a couple who are hugely in love with one another, and essentially good people who go wrong. I don’t think they are inherently evil, and if you start with that idea, there’s much more to explore within the play. What if someone offered you the numbers to tomorrow’s lottery, and all you had to do was—I don’t know…something very bad? How tempted would you be, knowing that you will win $75 million?

How tempted would you be?
It’s tough. That’s where morality comes in. One does things and in hindsight realizes maybe one shouldn’t have. But by the time the play comes to an end, it would be great for an audience to go “Wow,” and just see them as real people as opposed to monsters.

Do you think her actions stem from feeling powerless as a woman?
The production is traditional—we haven’t contemporized it—but I don’t feel that this Lady Macbeth is powerless at all. She’s equal with her husband from the get-go. He talks about her being his partner in greatness. Things start to unravel precisely when he stops sharing with her. That’s the key to their destruction, actually.

Had you known Kenneth Branagh before this? Did you paths cross during your RADA or RSC days?
He was ahead of me at drama school, but I auditioned for him when I was just starting out and he had already started the Renaissance Theatre Company. Didn’t hire me. But I certainly felt like I knew him because we met occasionally over the years at functions. I felt incredibly comfortable working with him.

You and he seem to have a good rapport. You also did Antony and Cleopatra for BBC Radio this year. How did that happen?
Cleopatra is one of the roles that I would love to do! Last year, when we had a break in rehearsal, Ken was asking me what roles I would love to play and I immediately blurted out, “I want to play Cleopatra, and you could be my Antony. I didn’t think anything more of it and then I was in L.A. and I got an e-mail saying that BBC Radio were wanting a production to honor Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Ken had been asked to put on Antony and Cleopatra and play Antony and would I be Cleopatra? And I thought, Wow, it’d be great to have a go. So we recorded it; I think it took four days in all. It was incredibly intense but so fulfilling, and at the end of it, I thought, yeah, I really would love to do this now as a stage production.

Do you have any more plans to work together?
Who knows? When we get to the last few days [of Macbeth], I may tug on his kilt and say, “Come on, then.”

Speaking of Macbeth, did you realize how visceral this production was going to be when you signed on? Some audience members in Manchester got a bit dirty.
There is a disclaimer. People buying tickets have been advised not to wear smart clothing and to be prepared that there might be a bit of mud and blood coming their way—just an average day in New York! But I don’t think it’s all that gory, actually, compared to, say, the Peter O’Toole Macbeth, where when they came on, I think they were completely doused in blood. Ours is very environmental in a sense that we have all the elements onstage, and it’s very filmic. It’s so fast and it’s at an incredible pace, it’s just like watching a movie.

Have you experienced any of the Macbeth curses?
Oh, I have no wood to tap on! [Looking around, taps on her head]Touch wood. [There’s some] quite dangerous swordplay, and people have got a knock, but on the whole it’s been amazingly injury-free. There’s no wood to tap, I’m getting nervous now. Let’s hope it stays injury free.

Getting away from Shakespeare, is there any chance you’ll be joining Peter Capaldi on the TARDIS on Doctor Who?
[Laughs] It would be nice, but one never knows what [showrunner] Steven Moffat has up his sleeve. It would be great to have River come back so that one has the sense that she really does know all these different incarnations of the same man. It would be quite fun.

I didn’t realize that you’d been living in the U.S. since your ER days. What made you stay in Los Angeles? Are you a U.S. citizen?
I’m not a citizen, but I’m a resident. My daughter was born in the States and she went into the educational system here. Her father and I are no longer together, and it seemed a lot more important for her to have stability, which really is in L.A. I just felt that if anyone’s going to be doing the schlepping it should be me and not my child. I made the commitment that while she’s going through school that’s where I would be based. It just seems in recent years I’ve had most of my work coming in England.

What are you most looking forward to doing when you get to New York?
I’ve already seen it once, but I’m dying to see it again: the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s incredible. I saw it in Toronto and I’m desperate to see it again. It’s arresting and thought-provoking. And I think Central Park will be lovely this time of year. I’m just excited about working in New York. So many of our actors have never been to New York before. The energy will be exciting.

Macbeth is at the Park Avenue Armory through June 22. Click here for tickets and more information.

Source: timeout.com

posted 1 month ago with 6 notes